Miley Cyrus twerks, overshadows Justin Timberlake at MTV VMAs

Steve Tilley, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:23 PM ET

Rest in peace, Hannah Montana. You are truly lost to us forever.

Though much ado was made of Lady Gaga and 'N Sync leading up to Sunday night's MTV Video Music Awards, it was Miley Cyrus who caused jaws to drop, heads to shake and eyes to wince.

Maybe the former Disney teen queen was making some grand, multilayered comment on the excesses and absurdities of modern popular entertainment, and on the fact that MTV has about as much to do with music as KFC does with Kentucky.

Or maybe she's just gone batcrap nuts.

Emerging from the innards of a giant Cylon monkey - three words I've waited my entire career to put together in a sentence - Miley and her cadre of dancers-as-teddy-bears cavorted and writhed and twerked like none have twerked before. But it wasn't until Miley stripped down to a clingy nude bra and panties and stroked her crotch with a giant foam finger that things got truly messed up.

Not even Canada's own Robin Thicke, who appeared to have just got off work at Foot Locker, could pull Miley back from this dark place. I reflexively covered my own genitals to shield the eyes of my unborn children.

Who'd have thought it was possible to upstage Lady Gaga? Short of coming on stage in a suit made of live farm animals lashed to her body with red licorice ropes, it's hard to imagine how Gaga could have made a bigger splash.

Refreshingly, she didn't try, exactly. Despite beginning her song as a blockheaded nun, followed by three costume/wig changes, Gaga's performance of Applause was fun, if not exactly mind-blowing. Other than the ending, which had her stripped down to panties, a clamshell bra and a wig of I-just-had-sex-for-nine-straight-hours hair.

Under the watchful eyes of the a giant statue of MTV's Moonman, now redesigned to look like a zombie astronaut mouse (three more words I've always wanted to use together), awards went to Selena Gomez (best pop video for Come and Get It), Taylor Swift (best female video for I Knew You Were Trouble), Macklemore and Ryan Lewis (best hip-hop video for Can't Hold Us), 30 Seconds to Mars (best rock video for Up In the Air), Bruno Mars (best male video for Locked Out of Heaven) and Justin Timberlake (best video of the year for Mirrors.)

And the night's worst-kept secret award went to 'N Sync, who joined their former bandmate Timberlake for a brief and slightly awkward sampling of Girlfriend and Bye Bye Bye before vanishing so JT could continue his extended mega-montage of solo hits. All their hips remained unbroken, though, so that's something.

And yet with all the brain-straining insanity, there was the odd moment of true awesomeness, like Macklemore performing his tolerance anthem Same Love with help from Mary Lambert and surprise guest Jennifer Hudson. The refrain "not cryin' on Sundays" turned out to be a self-defeating prophecy. Sniff.

That's the MTV Video Music Awards in a nutshell: Never predictable, never sensible, never boring. Maybe Miley's free to host the Oscars?

 

 

The full list of 2013 MTV VMAs winners is:

Video of the Year - Mirrors by Justin Timberlake

Best Hip-Hop Video - Can't Hold Us by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Ray Dalton

Best Male Video - Locked Out of Heaven by Bruno Mars

Best Female Video - I Knew You Were Trouble by Taylor Swift

Best Pop Video - Come & Get It by Selena Gomez

Artist to Watch - Austin Mahone

Best Collaboration - Just Give Me a Reason by Pink featuring Nate Ruess

Best Video with a Social Message - Same Love by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Mary Lambert

Best Rock Video - Up in the Air by 30 Seconds to Mars

Best Art Direction - Q.U.E.E.N by Janelle Monae featuring Erykah Badu

Best Choreography - Treasure by Bruno Mars

Best Cinematography - Can't Hold Us bu Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Ray Dalton

Best Direction - Suit & Tie by Justin Timberlake featuring Jay Z

Best Editing - Mirrors by Justin Timberlake

Best Visual Effects - Safe & Sound by Capital Cities

Best Song of the Summer - Best Song Ever by One Direction


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